Welcome to the Morning Buzz, PRRI’s morning dose of religion-related news with a shot of data – because what doesn’t liven up a morning round-up like some public opinion numbers? Get ready, because if you have several million dollars to spend, you’ll soon be able to bid on the late Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels, gowns, Andy Warhol lithographs, and more. If you have less disposable income, but live in New York and just want to look at what is apparently one of the most well-curated jewelry collections ever, Christie’s is having an exhibition of the auction goods.
Newt Gingrich may be surging in Iowa, but what would it take for the thrice-divorced, adulterous politician to get the support of evangelical voters? Dr. Robert P. Jones examines Gingrich’s chances among this crucial demographic in the latest offering for his Washington Post blog, “Figuring Faith.”
Meanwhile, Rick Perry is emphasizing his Christian faith to Iowa voters in a new television ad. Although this might seem like a good tactic to separate himself from Romney and Gingrich, Perry might also do well to heed Dr. Jones’ warning from a few months ago, when he wrote about the perils of sectarian rhetoric.
At the White House Christmas tree lighting last week, President Obama made a point of emphasizing the depth of his own Christian faith. This summer, only 38% of Americans correctly identified him as Christian, while 4-in-10 said they did not know what his religious beliefs were. One in five (18%) wrongly said that Obama was a Muslim.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops criticized a new report from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which the bishops say unfairly characterizes the nature of Catholic advocacy.
The report and response were released amid a larger controversy about whether Catholic institutions (like schools and hospitals) should be required to provide insurance that covers no-cost birth control. A NPR article points out that many of these institutions already cover prescription contraceptives.
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